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Parent-Child Green Card Question?

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  • Parent-Child Green Card Question?

    This question is for a friend so don't start getting hostile----Let's say I'm an unmarried 20 year old who lives in foreign country with my father. My mother divorced went to USA and married a US Citizen. How can I live with my mother and get US Permanent Residence? Will I get it as fast as she does or do I have to wait 20 years?

    Thank You
    John Smith
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  • #2
    This question is for a friend so don't start getting hostile----Let's say I'm an unmarried 20 year old who lives in foreign country with my father. My mother divorced went to USA and married a US Citizen. How can I live with my mother and get US Permanent Residence? Will I get it as fast as she does or do I have to wait 20 years?

    Thank You
    John Smith
    Join the United States Army


    • #3
      You'll probably have to wait several years, depending on the country you're from. As a permanent resident, your mother can only sponsor you as a "preference" relative, which is subject to country numerical quotas. Here's some info from an immigration law site:

      Family Members Eligible to Immigrate
      A person can petition to bring family members to the United States only if that person (the petitioner) is already a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident (green card holder). Even then, the petitioner can only bring in two types of family members, including:

      immediate relatives (who can get green cards without worrying about numerical limits or waiting periods), and
      preference relatives (who are subject to yearly numerical limits and waiting periods of between one and 21 years, depending on the family relationship and what country the immigrant is from).
      The following chart briefly summarizes what types of relatives a petitioner can sponsor and which category the relatives qualify for.

      A U.S. permanent resident can sponsor: Unmarried children (preference relatives, though children over 21 wait even longer than those under 21)
      Spouse (preference relative)

      A U.S. citizen can sponsor: Parents (immediate relatives)
      Spouse (immediate relative)
      Children (immediate relative if child is unmarried and under age 21; preference relative if child is married or unmarried and over 21)
      Brothers and sisters (preference relatives)

      Notice who is not on this list: grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, parents-in-law and other extended family members. The chain of sponsorship is not very long.

      However, if allowed to immigrate to the United States, most of the people on this list will be permitted to bring their own spouses and children with them. And it is true that once someone has a green card, they can sponsor other people on the list. But because of the waiting periods, this often takes too long to be of much help, and can lead to long separations between parents and children.

      How Long Must Sponsored Family Members Wait?
      If you sponsor a family member who is an immediate relative, there is no waiting period before a visa becomes available. However, due to the time it takes for the U.S. immigration authorities to review and approve an application, actually getting that visa is likely to take at least a year.

      Preference relatives, however, may have to wait from one to 21 years before being allowed to apply for and claim their visa or green card. After you, the petitioner, submit a visa petition on Form I-130, your preference relative is put on a waiting list. Unfortunately, no one can say exactly how long each applicant will wait. A certain number of people in each category are allowed green cards each year. It's impossible to predict how many people will apply in a given year.

      Also, only a certain percentage of the green cards go to any one country each year, so people from certain countries, such as India, Mexico, and the Philippines, end up waiting even longer than others. As a result, the waiting immigrant can only estimate when he or she will get a visa, based on how long it took for the people who applied before to get one.

      As a general rule, applicants in higher preference categories wait less time. The average wait these days from most countries is as follows:

      Type of Preference Relative Preference Category Average Wait
      adult children of U.S. citizens first preference six years
      spouses and children of permanent residents second preference five years for spouses and children under 21; nine years for children over 21
      married children of U.S. citizens third preference six years
      brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens fourth preference 12 years

      But again, the wait will be longer if the immigrant is from a country such as Mexico or the Philippines, because of the numbers of people who apply from those countries. Siblings of U.S. citizens from the Philippines currently wait a staggering 21 years.

      For a detailed discussion of obtaining green cards,


      • #4
        Wow so you're telling me I would supposedly wait within 5 years? What if this happened instead:

        What if I went to USA with my mother as a DEPENDANT and she married the US Citizen and the US Citizen put my moms name and my name under the form would I get it the same time my mom gets it?

        Thank You,
        Johnny Smith
        Join the United States Army


        • #5
          Doesn't work that way, John. Even if your mother married the USC, the step-relationship which would allow him to petition for you would have to have occurred prior to your 18th birthday as you already 20 that wouldn't help you. Your only recourse would be if she married the USC, got her green card, filed a petition for you as the adult child of a permanent resident, she stayed married for 3 years, filed for citizenship and maybe by that time your number would be current as the adult child of a USC.


          • #6
            But wait this is confusing me. Lets say im in USA with my mom and shes on some study visa and im the dependant and she marries a citizen cant i get green card instnatly just like her?
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            • #7
              no, each person has to apply separately and as I explained you are not eligible. Your mom would have had to have married a USC BEFORE your 18th birthday in order for you to be eligible to file for a GC.


              • #8
                What about the K-3/4 Visas?


                Cant I get a K-4 visa or something? What about that V-1/2/3 visas?

                [This message was edited by johnsmith2 on March 18, 2004 at 01:18 AM.]
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                • #9
                  You are not eligible for a K-4 for the same reason. V visas were a temporary program and no new V visas are being issued.


                  • #10
                    What same reason? If you read that K4 visa document thing it says:

                    "The rule expands the K visa status, currently available to fiancé(e)s of U.S. citizens, to include the spouse of a U.S. citizen, who is waiting abroad for an immigrant visa, and the SPOUSE'S CHILDREN(ME)."

                    Also says:

                    "To be eligible for a K-4 nonimmigrant visa, an applicant does not need a separate Form I-130 or a Form I-129F filed on his/her behalf. The K-4 applicant MUST:

                    Be an unmarried child (under 21 years of age) of a K-3 visa applicant or holder"

                    SO what about that?
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                    • #11
                      What don't you get???? You do not meet the definition because the STEP relationship did not occur prior to your 18th birthday!!!! The rules do not change for the K visa. You would STILL have to be able to meet CIS' definition of a "child of a USC" and you do not.


                      • #12
                        Then why does it say "Be an unmarried child (under 21 years of age) of a K-3 visa applicant or holder" instead of "be under 18." And watch your tone. I'd recommend the book "How to win friends and influence people" or some Anger Management classes.
                        Join the United States Army


                        • #13
                          My tone???? Whatever. Do what you want to do. File, lose your money, possibly expose yourself for deportation, whatever. I was born in the U.S. so I don't need to argue or explain Immigration law to a novice.


                          • #14

                            BronzeLady is a valuable contributor to this forum, offering accurate advice that is difficult to obtain elsewhere. We can't afford to drive people like her away from this forum by throwing insults. It's always hard to hear "what you don't want to hear", as I know from experience, but I'm sure she is just trying to help you.

                            I wish the USCIS would supply people on their customer service, who are even half as helpful as she is.


                            • #15
                              Thank you, Fairplay, I try to help out if I can. CIS does supply people that are helpful...the problem is that you catch more flies with honey and people often forget that. You can't come in yelling and demanding and expect someone to respond by being just as helpful as they can be.


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